July 14, 2017
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia free safety Quin Blanding was named to the 2017 preseason Jim Thorpe Award Watch List, the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame announced Friday. The Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame awards the Jim Thorpe Award annually to the nation’s best defensive back.
Blanding has previously been named this summer to the 2017 Bednarik Award, Nagurski and Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List. Blanding was also on the 2015 and 2016 preseason Jim Thorpe Award Watch List as a sophomore and junior.
Blanding (Virginia Beach, Va.) was named a Sporting News and Sports Illustrated second-team All-American in 2016. A two-time first-team All-ACC honoree, Blanding started all 12 games for UVA in 2016 and finished the year No. 2 in the ACC and No. 9 in the nation with 10.0 tackles per game. Blanding has finished the past three seasons No. 2 in the ACC in tackles and his 358 career stops currently ranks No. 9 all-time in the UVA annals.
The award was established in 1986 and is named after history’s greatest all-around athlete, Jim Thorpe. Thorpe excelled as a running back, passer and kicker on the offensive side of the ball, but also stood out as a defensive back. In addition to his legendary performance on the football field, Thorpe played professional baseball and won Olympic gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon.
A screening committee who compile a list of 30-50 players chooses the Jim Thorpe Award Watch List. The list is not final, and players who have outstanding seasons are added as the season progresses. The Thorpe Award Winner is selected from three finalists and will be announced at The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017 on ESPN. The Jim Thorpe Award Banquet will be held on Tuesday, February 6, 2018 in Oklahoma.